California Republican leaders are using the recent approval of health care reform legislation as a platform against Democrats in this year's upcoming elections, the Contra Costa Times reports.
California Republican Party Chair Ron Nehring said, "Independent voters do not support the health care bill," adding, "And, the longer health care is being discussed, the more independent voters will move in our direction" (Vorderbrueggen, Contra Costa Times, 3/22).
On Monday, the three Republicans running against U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) in the November election all criticized the legislation (Bunis, Orange County Register, 3/22).
Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina and state Assembly member Chuck DeVore (R-Irvine) said that, if elected, they would work to repeal the legislation. Former U.S. House Rep. Tom Campbell (R) did not go as far as the other two candidates, but he said he would seek significant changes to the legislation (Freking, AP/Ventura County Star, 3/22).
However, Campbell noted that if the public begins to view the health reform bill positively, there could be a backlash against politicians campaigning against it (Orange County Register, 3/22).
California's 11th District
U.S. Rep. Jerry McNerney (D-Calif.), who voted in favor of the health care reform bill, faces a tough re-election in November.
The four Republicans competing to face off against him all have pledged to make his vote for the health care bill a central issue in their campaigns (Contra Costa Times, 3/22).
Schwarzenegger Releases Statement
On Monday, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) released a statement highlighting his support for comprehensive health reform but noting that its success will depend on whether states have either the "flexibility to live within the revenues that are available to them or the federal resources to fully fund its mandates" (Office of the Governor release, 3/22).
Earlier this year Schwarzenegger warned that the federal plan would cost California an additional $4 billion to implement (Small, KPCC, 3/22)
Schwarzenegger said in the statement, "I hope state fiscal needs are carefully considered as this process goes forward" (Office of the Governor release, 3/22).